Jake Long Injury: What It Means For Long, Jonathan Martin, and the Dolphins

December 3rd, 2012

Jake Long
Could Sunday’s game against the Patriots have been the last time we got to see Jake Long in a Miami Dolphins uniform?

Reports are surfacing that Miami fears Long tore his left tricep in the game. He watched the second half of the game from the sidelines in street clothes.

After Long left for the locker room, Jonathan Martin shifted over to the left tackle position and was serviceable against a decent New England pass rush. If Long misses the rest of the season, Martin will most likely take over the left tackle position, which is where he played in college at Stanford, protecting Andrew Luck’s blindside.

MDD Staff Writer: Garrett Baker

Long is a free agent at the end of the season, and it is not a guarantee that the Dolphins will bring him back. There’s no telling yet what will happen this offseason, but if Long’s triceps is torn and he is forced to miss the remainder of the season then the chances of his being resigned will plummet.

Long has struggled with injuries since the start of the 2011 season. Since then, he has been sidelined with a back ailment, put on IR at the end of last season for a torn bicep, and sprained his MCL this past summer. Another major injury like this would make his longevity a serious question mark, which is not something you want for your franchise left tackle.

If Long had been having a great season, then this discussion would probably be far more speculative than it is currently. But Long had been having a poor season by his standards. He has been one of the best linemen in the league since getting drafted first overall in 2008, but this season has been a disappointment. With the switch to a zone-blocking scheme that requires more swiftness and finesse, Long has looked a bit out of place at times. The injuries and wear and tear are definitely not helping either.

If Martin plays well enough, then Miami could be comfortable keeping him there and look for another tackle in the draft. Long is going to command a big a contract, and unless he’ll take less money to stay in Miami, there’s a decent chance that this triceps injury could be the reason he signs somewhere else next spring.

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